Friday, September 01, 2006

Israel Continues to Bleed Palestine

31 August, 2006

GAZA, August 30.— Eight Palestinians died Wednesday in the Gaza Strip in renewed attacks by Israel.
On the same day, the leader of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, wounded a week before when Israeli agents tried to kill him, died of his wounds, reported AFP.
Medical sources said the Israeli army troops, which since Saturday are operating in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Sheja’eya, used their armored vehicles to machine gun seven Palestinians. They have also reportedly set fire to agricultural crops.
According to witnesses, Rami al Gharabli, 27, and Yasser al Gharabli, 25, tried to leave their homes surrounded by the Israeli tanks when they were shot dead.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Venezuelan and Syrian Presidents Reject US Hegemony

30 August, 2006

DAMASCUS, August 29.— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday in Damascus that the governments of Venezuela and Syria are firmly united against the aggressions and hegemonic intentions of the US empire.
"We are here to work, to reach an agreement, to sign a number of accords, and to commit ourselves to open new channels of integration between Caracas and Damascus," said Chavez shortly after his arrival in the Syrian capital for a two day visit, reported the Venezuelan national broadcaster Venezolana de Television.
"Venezuela and Syria are two courageous nations; we are not afraid of saying things," commented Chavez.
"Today begins a new stage in this history," added Chavez, who on Tuesday completed an official visit to Malaysia as part of a tour that included China and will also take him to Angola.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad expressed his satisfaction in receiving "a great leader on an international scale."
"Before the president’s arrival, we were listening to his strong position in support of our causes and his sincere feelings towards the rights of peoples who have their territories occupied," said Al Assad accompanied by Chavez.
"We share many common positions because our stance on international causes is parallel to that of Venezuela: rejecting international hegemony, rejecting the unilateral power of the United States," he said.
"What we want during this visit is to convert these prospects into effective work and coordinate high level policies," added Al Assad.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We Want to Build a New Middle East without US Tampering

29 August, 2006
After a "long conversation between brothers and comrades with Army General Raul Castro Ruz," on Sunday afternoon, and before boarding his plane back to Damascus, the Syrian Minister of Information granted an exclusive interview to Granma.
Three weeks of Israeli aggression against the Lebanese people and threats against Syria and Iran compel us to ask the distinguished guest about his views on the current situation in the Middle East.
If we were to let ourselves be guided by the Western media, it would seem that this last confrontation is unconnected to the three other wars between the Israelis and the Arabs. This last, the longest of all, was the first time Israel was not confronted by an Army or a state. Despite all its military might, Israel was unable to defeat the Islamic movement Hezbollah; although in trying to do so, it killed over 1,000 Lebanese and destroyed a large portion of that country’s infrastructure. On this matter, the Syrian minister said:
The region is now faced with the same problems as before the war on Lebanon, with the US administration’s propensity to impose its hegemony in the region. The United States has clearly stated that it wants to build a new Middle East, a key piece in its plans for domination.
Confronted with this situation, Syrian President Bachar Al Assad has been very emphatic on the need to build a new Middle East, without the tampering of the United States or aggression from Israel. The Arab Middle East should be one where our will is respected; the will of resistance, freedom, social, economic and political development. This is what we need to build.
Our countries have been attacked and our territories have been occupied by Israel; this is why we have the right to fight and resist until we build a region of peace, free from foreign interference, threats and aggressions.
Events in Lebanon have destroyed the myth of Israeli invulnerability. What has been the impact of this latest aggression within Israel?
Today, Israel is in the midst of a severe political dilemma. The government of Prime Minister Olmert is faced with a real crisis, and it is possible that the current coalition will have to step down from power, amidst the current contradictions. Several different opinions have surfaced in the aftermath of the aggression on Lebanon.
On one side are the current Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Security and Defense who are talking about negotiating and engaging in a dialogue with Syria. The return of the Golan Heights should be at the center of these negotiations.
On the other hand, we have deputy Prime Minister Simon Peres who is saying that Israel has come to the bargaining table five times with no results. Our President has reiterated that we are willing to negotiate, but we demand the return of the Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty and the withdrawal of Israel to the border it had on June 4, 1967. Once this occurs, we will be ready to meet the Israelis in the quest of a peace which encompass its withdrawal from Southern Lebanon and the return of the occupied Palestinian Territories. Tel Aviv should acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to have an independent state and the rights of the refugees to return to their homeland.
Those who attack Palestine and Lebanon, and occupy their territories, know too well that they are to blame for the instability in the region.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More US Students at Cuba Med School

29 August, 2006

"We are bringing young people who couldn’t fulfill their dreams in the United States," said Rev. Lucius Walker, as he accompanied a new group of US students to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana.
ELAM began primarily as a center to train doctors from the Central American countries hit by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Soon after, it expanded to accept low-income students from around Latin America and more recently has also given underprivileged young people from the United States the opportunity to study medicine.
Rev. Walker said that the new students are themselves victims of "the values in our country" that turns medicine into a commercial product and of a deficient public health system. He noted that these young people haven’t lost their dreams and now can continuing dreaming thanks to Cuba.
"We have a marvelous task through Pastors for Peace —which each year sponsors a caravan to Cuba in defiance of the US blockade against the island—, but we have never been part of a project that brings so much joy as the Latin American School of Medicine, said Walker.
After expressing his gratitude for all that Cuba does, Walker asked that Fidel Castro be told "the immense appreciation we feel for him, for his ideas, and also reiterate to him our commitment to continue working together for this project."
The new US students, seven women and six men, were welcomed by ELAM President Dr. Juan D. Carrizo Estevez. With this new group, a total of 88 young people from the US are now studying medicine in Cuba.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cuban Doctors Helping Guatemalans

IZABAL, Guatemala, August 25.— A Cuban medical brigade is currently bringing health and hope to thousands of people in Guatemala’s Caribbean zone.
Eight years ago, when Hurricane Mitch devastated large portions of Central America and the Motagua River flooded extensive parts of this region, the first Cuban physicians arrived in the department of Izabal, and they are still working here today.
"We are 15 collaborators, mostly women, including gynecologists, pediatricians, anesthetists, epidemiologists, nurses and experts in Integral General Medicine," said Odalys Rodriguez, coordinator of the Jose Marti Brigade in this department.
The Cuban doctors are working in five Izabal municipalities: Puerto Barrios, Livingston, El Estor Morales and Los Amates.
The most frequent diseases reported are acute respiratory problems, intestinal parasitism, skin afflictions and malnutrition, mainly in children.
Five doctors are also stationed at the Mother-Child Center of El Estor, where they offer 24-hour service on a rotating basis. The facility operates in the zone known for having the highest maternal mortality rate in all of Guatemala.
Odalys Rodriguez says that since the center opened, the maternal mortality rate has dropped drastically by two-thirds, from the 179 per 100,000 women rate a year earlier.
She noted how the Guatemalans have a good impression of the Cuban physicians and most importantly trust them. The fact that many patients speak native languages instead of Spanish has not been an obstacle for understanding, added Odalys (PL).

Friday, August 25, 2006

25 August, 2006
China Backs Venezuela Bid for Security Council Seat
BEIJING, August 24.— China supports Venezuela’s bid for a UN Security Council seat, said President Hugo Chavez on Thursday following a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The meeting, attended by the closest collaborators of both presidents, was held after the official welcome to the Venezuelan president at the People’s Palace.
Chavez said that the Chinese decision to support the Venezuelan candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council was announced by Hu Jintao at that meeting, reported Prensa Latina.
The Venezuelan leader said he was pleased with the agreements and understanding achieved with the Chinese authorities.
Chavez noted that the positive outcomes of the meeting are the result of three years of efforts to strengthen relations, now closer in the geopolitical, economic, technological, investment and cooperation fields.
Chavez made brief statements to the press at the end of the eight-document signing ceremony, which included memorandums of understanding and agreements in energy, finance, oil exploitation and home building.
The deals also included visits of Chinese tourist groups to Venezuela, as well as the setting up of a bilateral Business Committee.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Photo exhibition on Fidel Castro inaugurated

MORE than 100 people attended the August 21 opening of a photographic exhibition on revealing moments in the life of President Fidel Castro at the International Press Center in Havana. Canto a la Vida (Song to Life) — the exhibition’s title — "impacts the inner world of our feelings because of the stamp left on us by the ideas and struggle initiated and led by an exceptional human being," said Tubal Páez, president of the Cuban Journalists Union, in remarks at the opening.
"In observing them (the photos), we realize how much there is of Fidel Castro in us and how much in the nation’s soul, how much of his character, his methods, his style, his way of acting and reacting," Páez added.
He also noted that this is the most photographed Revolution, and will continue to be so because there will always be Revolution and there will always be photography, he affirmed.
Comprised of more than 80 images by 50 Cuban and foreign artists, Canto a la vida offers a panorama of the life of the Cuban Revolution’s leader, who celebrated his 80th birthday on August 13.
Photographers featured in the exhibition include the renowned Alberto Korda, who made the photo of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara that has circled the globe.
Photographers from other countries include Andrew St. George, Burt Glinn and Robert Taber (United States), Cándido Mayo (Spain-Mexico), Enrique Meneses and R. del Valle-Rico (Spain), Ernesto Bazán (Italy), Félix Cordero (Puerto Rico) and Sven Creusmann (Germany).
The International Press Center, José Martí International Journalism Institute, Fototeca de Cuba and the Ministry of Culture’s Center for Cultural Development and Communication, among other institutions, are promoting the exhibition. (PL)